The Abbey has achieved 100 per cent compliance with the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS) and has implemented or is substantially progressed in the implementation of all 80 NCSS Indicators which are relevant to their operations.

Tarrawarra Abbey is a community of Cistercian monks in the Yarra Valley, 60 kilometres north-east of Melbourne. There are 11 monks and one postulant living in the community.

Tarrawarra Abbey celebrates daily Masses which are open to the local community and families. While the Abbey hosts school groups who wish to learn more about monastic life and/or use the Abbey facilities for school sacramental programs, personnel of the Abbey do not minister directly to children. As such, the Order has been assessed as a “Category Two” Church entity for application of the safeguarding standards.

Two recommendations have been provided to Tarrawarra Abbey to strengthen its safeguarding practices. These recommendations relate to the implementation of an internet monitoring program for personnel and improving the supervision of third-party contractors on-site at the Abbey. There are no high rated audit recommendations for Tarrawarra Abbey.

CPSL chief executive Sheree Limbrick said that the results of the audit show that Tarrawarra Abbey takes the safeguarding of children seriously in its operations.

“As a Category Two entity which has limited contact with children, the child safeguarding policies and processes in place need to be comprehensive, yet fit for purpose,” Ms Limbrick said.

“The Order’s Child Safeguarding Policy is a good example of this: it contains a number of appendices which address critical components of safeguarding, such as behavioural expectations and code of conduct, complaints handling, risk management, record keeping and recruitment procedures for employees and volunteers. Tarrawarra Abbey’s child safeguarding policy is an example of good practice for other Category Two entities and the Abbey should be commended in this regard.”

The Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance at Tarrawarra Abbey is the first monastic order to undergo a safeguarding audit to assess compliance with the NCSS.